Tuya is the persevering wife of Bater, a herdsman who lost his legs exploring water in the Neimenggu (Inner Mongolia) grassland that is fast vanishing as a result of desertification. She takes up the sole responsibility to make a living for the family, but develops a dislocated lumbar from her hard labor and risks paralysis herself. Faced with harsh reality, the couple decide to divorce so that Tuya can seek a better life. Imposing her own conditions of a remarriage – her new husband must take care of Bater, their children and their poor herding land, the strong-minded, stubborn, but also gentle, susceptible Tuya embarks on an arduous search for a new husband, and meets suiters who are rich but disingenuous, likable but shy, and saves a suicidal Bater who still longs for Tuya and their children along the way.
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